Flight training is such an exciting time! The fact is you’re learning to fly an airplane that sometimes you get caught up in the passion and emotions that come with that and forget to take a more calculated approach into your training. There are a few things I would have changed about my training if I had the chance, but I was also lucky to have an outside source to help me take a more focused approach to my learning. Here are a few things I thin every new student pilot should be prepared to do:
1. Do interview or do a discovery flight with different flight instructors
This is the piece of advice I really did wish I listened to when I first began. Maybe I wouldn’t have taken so long to solo or gone through three instructors. It is important to find the right person to teach you to fly. Flying isn’t an easy task, but it becomes easier when you have someone suited to your specific learning style.
2. Chair flying is the best!
It’s expensive up there with the engine running. You don’t want to be stumbling around at the controls with a maneuver you learned last lesson. During the time between lessons take a few minutes to review the movements associated with each maneuver. Pretend to pull the power to idle, turn on the carb heat, add in some right rudder, etc. It helps, I swear!
3. Don’t put off the written
My CFI said he wanted me to take my written right around my solo XC, and I listened to him and took it less than a week after my first solo XC. I’ve seen others put it off and it has delayed their check ride, listen to when your CFI thinks you should take your written and be prepared!
4. Study, study, study!
You’ve got your chair flying studying, but you need book studying to be prepared for your written and oral. Don’t think you can cram for it either, it’s also just no wise because you SHOULD want to learn the required knowledge. It’ll help you be a good pilot. If you just want to coast through and not really learn then maybe being a pilot isn’t for you. A good pilot is always learning!
5. Make sure you know your plan
Always make sure you know what your next lessons will be about so you can prepare! Around my cross countries I really got into this and if I forgot to ask or my CFI forgot to tell me at the end of a lesson, you can bet I texted him before my next lesson so I could be prepared. It made sure I didn’t waste time in the airplane or at the airport when I could prepare at home.
6. The internet is a great resource
There are tons of websites, YouTube videos, and podcasts to help you out. I do suggest to take some with a grain of salt or double check, but it’s a starting place. I used Sporty’s Study Buddy (for free!) to study for my written. I downloaded UND’s podcasts to go over basic maneuvers better. AOPA is a great resource and I enjoy mzeroa.com’s videos. There is tons of information out there if you want to use it.
What are your tips for new student pilots? What did you learn through your training you wish you knew at the start?